Once a worker becomes disabled and is unable to work, they may file a paper claim with their local Social Security office. Such a claim will be handled by DDS (formally known as Disabilty Determining Services) located your state. DDS processes each claim it makes an initial determination of whether the claimant is disabled. If the initial claim is denied the claim and they feel that they should eventually to a judge. The judge is then in charge of reviewing all the documents that it receives from the lower determination and any additional medical records that the claimant may provide. Finally, the judge will hold a hearing to review test and decide whether the claimant is disabled or not. The application is how the state agency makes its determination and it is how medical evidence is marshaled, which is critical for making fair decisions at all levels. Someone may also choose to file electronically through the Social Security Administration’s website. This is done at www.ssa.gov. Make sure that if you choose this method that you have already created a profile with the Social Security Administration. However, if you think that you may eventually hire an experienced attorney in you area, then consider hiring them to file the claim as well. That way the lawyer’s office knows exactly what is in the application far before the decision comes. Lawyers cannot charge you more to handle the claim from the beginning to the end. It will always only cost you 25% of the past due benefits.